Embed from Getty Images
Villa visit The Molineux in the late kick off in an attempt to continue a strong run of form, punctuated only by an untimely international break.
After consecutive wins against Barnsley, Burton, Forest and latterley Bolton, Bruce must now begin to negotiate sterner tests in the league.
Similarly for Wolves, their last 6 games see them just a point behind Villa in the form table, with a frightening similarity in the types of teams they’ve beaten. Therefore, this game, with the added derby interest, may act as a telling barometer of each sides fortunes for the season ahead.
Whilst this blog may sound like a broken record, these are the types of games that Villa must be winning.
Not on account of local pride, but if we genuinely harbour ambitions for promotion, long, winning runs must become the norm rather than the exception.
Central to this is finally putting to bed our decidedly dismal away form that still lingers.
This is something that most supporters know all about, but are often equally as puzzled as to why it’s remained such a millstone for so many seasons, especially as Villa Park produced so many unbeaten games last term.
Whilst history is one thing, ultimately, it’s results here and now that count.
Bruce will no doubt want to win the game, claw the side into the playoff spots and improve upon this seasons 40% away win rate with it.
Injuries and suspensions will enforce a reshuffle, but Villa go to Wolves in good form and in far better shape than when we last visited in January 2017.
- Villa have won 40% of games away from home this term.
- Villa failed to win on the road at Cardiff, Reading & Bristol City already this season.
- Villa’s away form is currently 9th best in the division.
- Villa are top of the overall form table based on the last 6 games.
- Wolves are top of the form table based on the last 10 games.
- However, the hosts home form is the 13th best in the league.
- Diego Jota has 6 goals this term (joint 2nd in the Champ).
- Villa’s top scorer is Hourihane, on 5.
- Bonatini looks the threat, with 4 goals & assists to his name in 17/18.
- Green & Grealish remain unavailable for Bruce through injury.
- Jedinak, Davis & Lansbury to have late fitness tests.
- Left back Neil Taylor is suspended after seeing red against Bolton.
- A reshuffling of Hutton/De Laet/Bjarnason will likely deputise the LB role.
- Injuries & recent form would suggest Villa will stick to a 4-4-2 formation.
- Wolves won this fixture last season 1-0 with Paul Lambert in charge.
- 107th meeting between Wolves & Villa.
- This is only the 3rd occasion the sides have met in the 2nd tier of football.
- Wolves have won just 4 of last 24 games after an international break.
- Molineux is close to a sell out for the fixture, despite being live on $ky (5:30pm).
- Villa arrive off the back of 4 consecutive wins.
- After a shaky start, Bruce has the side on an unbeaten 8 game streak.
- Wolves are currently 2nd (23 pts)
- Villa are currently 7th (19 pts)
- An away win would put Villa within a point of Wolves.
- Hosts have yet to be behind at the break on home soil this term.
- Villa’s last 5 visits to Molineux: W2 D2 L1.
- Bruce has taken just 1 point from his last 5 visits as a manager though.
- Steve Bruce has now been in post for a year at Villa Park. Of 10 managers since MON left, he’s only the 2nd to do so.
1-0 to Villa.